MY FATHER (FROM MY OWN MEMORIES AND HIS REPUTATION)
Integrity and manliness.
Marcus’ lost his father at three. I am fortunate to have ever attended just one funeral. We can say what the average life expectancy is for our day and age only for those that die during it; perhaps the first person to live forever is already doing so.
We will see the philosophy of this in book two.
Integrity. We know someone with integrity when we see them: they do not lie, cheat, swindle, or back down from bullies. They do what they say they will do, and they do not stray from it except to improve.
Integrity is wholeness in ones self. If you do not know something you may unintentionally lie about it. If you want a thing more than your willpower can handle, you will cheat or swindle it. If you are not assured in your own power and strength, you will back down from bullies.
Integrity is having a coherent philosophy. It is understanding where you fit in to the web of all things, connected. It is power that comes not from adoration, or wealth, but from within.
Manliness is archaic. We should discard this old, tired, gendered word and simply say, humanness. Why should a man act like a man? You should act with compassion, grace, strength and thought. None of those are reserved for men.
Seek humanness in your daily action. Stand proud and tall, regardless of stature. Stand your ground when you are threatened, but do not be so stubborn that you do not retreat when defeat is certain. This is humanness – a desire to live with purpose beyond filling a grave.
I seek integrity by reaching out to the world around me. My integrity comes from my ability to speak up when something is wrong. I am not perfect with this. Nobody is. But it is something to practice and remember. Only if we have integrity can we be certain in our humanness. Otherwise we will be offensive and rude.